Process + people – a powerful proposition for any SME

Alister Esam
Aug 2019
beSlick is one of the UK’s leading process management tools, but you would be forgiven for thinking that we are all about the technology behind the process. It’s certainly very important, but it should never be prioritised above what really makes an organisation effective and efficient – the people within it.

Technology has transformed many elements of day-to-day operations for SMEs, and tools such as beSlick which offer pre made templates alongside their product, are doing the same for how small businesses approach process. But the really compelling way to do this is to combine process and people to create a truly powerful proposition.

The need for process

There are very few businesses that wouldn’t benefit from better processes to help the smooth running of that business. When we launched in 2018, we conducted research with SME leaders and found that 54% of senior managers in SMEs are wasting a day every week just managing process, with a further 34% wasting two days each week.

Furthermore, more than three-quarters (76%) of the SME leaders we spoke to admitted that they do not manage process effectively. This is a lot of resource to be spending on something that could be addressed much more effectively by using the right platform to manage process. But not many SMEs are even using the most appropriate tools.

Our research report – The State of Process Management in UK SMEs report – revealed the most common ways of managing process information are within individual systems (41%) or on spreadsheets (30%). Neither of these options are ideal, but still an improvement on the third most common way of managing process – SME leaders keeping them in their head.

People unlock the potential of process

Storing process in your head is perhaps the most classic way of managing an organisation’s processes badly. The way a boss wants or likes a task to be done may well be the best way of doing it, but by not sharing this and documenting the process, it makes it almost impossible for employees to follow the processes with any real degree of accuracy.

This gives way to bosses feeling frustrated that things aren’t being done as they want, and employees feeling micromanaged – not a productive working environment. That’s why the first step when looking at process within an organisation should always be to capture each one.

Doing this in a tool such as beSlick makes the most sense, but just capturing process anywhere is a start. Make the process into a checklist and keep it simple. But from there the most important thing to consider is to involve the people in the business.

People are smarter than process and by ignoring those people, any process is going to struggle to work. At its best and most effective, process is a collaborative effort, involving the people that actually do the job every day. This is how the potential of process can truly be realised in any SME.

Process must evolve and improve

If employees are told explicitly how to do a particular task, it can be demotivating and reduce the creative value that those people can offer. People must have the freedom to bypass a step and capture why they didn’t/couldn’t follow it. 

This is how processes improve and become even more effective over time. Approached in this way, the combination of people and process is one that is compelling for any SME, saving time and money, reassuring the boss and empowering employees.

If you think that process + people would be a good combination for your business, but aren’t quite sure where to start, then we have the answer for you – visit our template library.

These templates have been created to act as the blueprint for how you perform certain processes and contain a checklist of all the steps that need completing. Give it a whirl and let us know how you get on.

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